2010 Editors’ Choice Awards

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AF-S DX Nikkor 10-24mm ƒ/3.5-4.5G ED
For Nikon shooters, there’s a lot to like about the AF-S DX Nikkor 10-24mm ƒ/3.5-4.5G ED superwide zoom. Designed for DX-format SLRs, the lens provides focal lengths equivalent to 15-36mm on a 35mm camera. It also can be used on full-frame Nikon D-SLRs, which will automatically crop to the DX format when it’s attached. Besides the ultrawide views and great image quality, features include a Silent Wave Motor for quick, quiet autofocusing on all Nikon D-SLRs (even those without a focusing motor), internal focusing for better balance and a nonrotating front element, which comes in handy when using orientation-sensitive filters like polarizers and graduates. Estimated Street Price: $899. Contact: Nikon, (800) NIKON-US, www.nikonusa.com.

Epson Stylus Pro 3880
The phrase “compact 17-inch printer” might seem a bit odd, since a device capable of making prints nearly a foot-and-a-half wide would have to be somewhat wider than that, but Epson’s new Stylus Pro 3880 fits the description, measuring just 27x10x15 inches. The printer delivers gallery-quality color and black-and-white prints up to 17×22 inches, using eight wide-gamut UltraChrome K3 pigment inks and all-new AccuPhoto HD2 image technology. The 3880 automatically switches between Photo and Matte Black inks to suit glossy or matte media. Estimated Street Price: $1,295. Contact: Epson, (800) GO-EPSON, www.epson.com.

Gitzo Ocean Traveler Tripod
Take steady shots in the most challenging of environments using the Gitzo Ocean Traveler tripod. Featuring a ballhead and center casting made from solid stainless steel, the ballhead is designed to be disassembled by the user in the field for maintenance. Its compact, sturdy frame is designed to handle salty water, sand, mud and high humidity. Called Ocean-Lock, the new locks include special inserts at both ends that minimize the amount of water and debris that could get inside the tubes and locking mechanisms. The Traveler is ideal for use with lenses up to 200mm. It features all of Gitzo’s most advanced features such as 6X tubing, a rapid and reversible center column and a retractable hook. Estimated Street Price: $1,125. Contact: Gitzo (Bogen Imaging), (201) 818-9500, www.bogenimaging.us.

Nik Silver Efex Pro
If you’re into black-and-white, Nik Software’s Silver Efex Pro software provides all the tools you need to get great monochrome images from your original color ones. Patented U Point-powered Control Points make it easy to selectively control tonality and contrast with no need for selections or layers, while new technology greatly speeds up rendering. Film emulation, a state-of-the-art grain engine and advanced stylizing add versatility, while advanced imaging algorithms optimize results. Estimated Street Price: $199. Contact: Nik Software, (888) 284-4085, www.niksoftware.com.

onOne Software DSLR Camera Remote
Triggering your camera from a distance allows you to get shots from positions and angles that would not otherwise be possible. For Canon and Nikon shooters, the DSLR Camera Remote app from onOne Software makes this kind of photography possible using an iPhone or iPod Touch. Once the camera is connected to a WiFi-enabled computer, you can fire the shutter, review images, control camera settings and even get a live viewfinder preview. The app comes in two versions: Lite and Professional (most features are in the pro version only). Estimated Street Price: $2 (Lite); $20 (Professional). Contact: onOne Software, (888) 968-1468, www.ononesoftware.com.

Wacom Intuos4 Pen Tablet
Using a Wacom pen tablet to edit images gives you a more intuitive way of working with photos. The Intuos4 supports an expanded 2,048 levels of pen sensitivity, starting with a single gram. This means you can lighten or darken areas of an image with greater precision. The tablet features customizable ExpressKeys that have OLED-illuminated displays, allowing you to see what each key currently is set to. A pressure-sensitive Touch Ring controls up to four different functions such as scrolling, zooming, brush size and canvas rotation. The design is reversible so all of the key

s are positioned conveniently for both right- and left-handers. Estimated Street Price: $229 to $789. Contact: Wacom, (800) 922-6613, www.wacom.com.

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Western Digital My Book Studio
We’ve been fans of Western Digital’s My Book Studio external hard drives for a long time because they offer reliable performance, a sleek design and innovative features like the new smart display labeling system. You can personalize the drive and archive image collections with digital labels that stay visible even when the drive is unplugged so you always know what’s in it. With automatic continuous backup, a second copy is made whenever you add or change a file. Included WD SmartWare visually tracks the progress of your backup and retrieves lost files. Estimated Street Price: $189 (1 TB); $299 (2 TB). Contact: Western Digital, (949) 672-7000, www.westerndigital.com.

Sigma 18-250mm ƒ/3.5-6.3 DC OS HSM
When space doesn’t allow for a lot of extra lenses, take the Sigma 18-250mm ƒ/3.5-6.3 DC OS HSM. In addition to steadying the image as conventional stabilizing lenses do when used with most D-SLRs, the Hybrid Optical Stabilizer compensates for shake and provides a stabilized image in the viewfinder of Pentax and Sony cameras, which stabilize in the body. This is available only with Sigma Hybrid Optical Stabilizer lenses. The 18-250mm has a minimum focusing distance of 17.7 inches at all focal lengths and a maximum magnification ratio of 1:3.4, which is nice for close-up photography. Estimated Street Price: $530. Contact: Sigma, (800) 896-6858, www.sigmaphoto.com.

Ansmann Digicharger Vario
Keep all of your devices powered up when traveling using the Ansmann Digicharger Vario. The charger works with more than 100 battery types, including AA/AAA, NiMH or NiCd batteries, as well as lithium-ion and lithium-polymer battery packs. Simply plug it into a power socket or car cigarette lighter. The Vario charges quickly and has an overcharge protection mechanism that protects batteries from damage. It’s compatible with most cameras, camcorders, MP3 players, PDAs, flashlights and other electronic devices. Estimated Street Price: $58. Contact: HP Marketing Corp., (800) 735-4373, www.hpmarketingcorp.com.

Datacolor Spyder3Express
With so many ways of viewing and outputting images, color accuracy is more important than ever. The Spyder3Express from Datacolor ensures that the colors, tones and hues of your images are accurately represented on your computer monitor by calibrating your display. With an initial calibration time of only five minutes, and a recalibration time of only two-and-a-half minutes, the Software Wizard works interactively with the Spyder3Express Colorimeter for stepping through color adjustments quickly, easily and automatically. You also can do before-and-after previews for comparing the results. Estimated Street Price: $89. Contact: Datacolor, (800) 554-8688, www.datacolor.com.

Really Right Stuff BH-40
A ballhead lets you quickly and easily position the camera as desired, then lock it in place with the twist of a single knob or lever. Really Right Stuff’s BH-40 is a precision head that can comfortably handle medium-telephoto lenses such as a 70-200mm ƒ/2.8 zoom or 300mm ƒ/4 prime. Dual drop notches let you tilt the camera 90 degrees or downward without repositioning the head. You can ad-just the tension to suit your preferences. The base is marked in degrees for precise panoramic sequences (use the accessory panning clamp for panoramas). Estimated Street Price: $295 (head only); $375 (with LR lever-release clamp). Contact: Really Right Stuff, (888) 777-5557, www.reallyrightstuff.com.

Singh-Ray Vari-N-Duo
Combining its LB Warming Polarizer and Vari-ND variable neutral-density filter, Singh-Ray’s Vari-N-Duo filter is very handy and especially effective for blurred-motion effects. You can adjust the density from 22?3 to 8 stops by rotating the front Min/Max ring, and control the polarization by rotating the rear ring. The warming effect provides pleasing color in shady locations. It’s available only in 77mm. Estimated Street Price: $390 (Standard); $440 (Thin). Contact: Singh-Ray, (800) 486-5501, www.singh-ray.com.

Litepanels Micro
When you need to add some fill light, the Litepanels Micro offers a nice solution because you can easily adjust its output strength using a simple dimmer dial. Using heat-free LED technology, the compact camera light outputs 5600° K cool, white daylight while drawing minimal power. It provides 11?2 hours of light on four AA batteries and up to eight hours on Energizer’s e2 AA batteries. The light mounts to your camera’s flash shoe, measures 3.3×3.3×1.5 inches and weighs less than four ounces. Estimated Street Price: $299. Contact: Litepanels, (818) 752-7009, www.litepanels.com.

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Alien Skin Bokeh
Selective focus adds incredible visual impact to an image. With Alien Skin’s Bokeh, you can digitally manipulate depth of field as much as desired. It’s a way of providing the same effect that changing aperture in a lens does, only with Bokeh you can choose certain areas of a photo to manipulate and adjust focus for a subtle touch or an extreme makeover. Plus, unlike a photo shot at a specific aperture, you can go back and change the depth of field as well as the unique characteristics of the “bokeh,” which is the area that’s out of focus in your image. Estimated Street Price: $199. Contact: Alien Skin Software, (888) 921-SKIN, www.alienskin.com.

Seaport Digital i-Visor Pro LS Laptop Case
Even as bright as modern screens are, getting a good preview of images in direct sunlight is next to impossible. Seaport Digital’s i-Visor Pro LS works not only as a portable shade for working in bright environments, but also as a cushioned carrying case for your laptop, cables, batteries and external hard drives. The ballistic outer fabric and padded core combine with a mounting support system to provide a cushioned workstation, and the tri-fold visor will accommodate up to 17-inch screens. The exterior zippers are waterproof, and cables can be attached via ports. Estimated Street Price: $159. Contact: Seaport Digital, (847) 235-2319, www.seaportdigital.com.

Hoodman HoodLoupe 3.0
Even with the latest high-resolution LCD monitors, it’s hard to examine the image, histogram and menu items well in bright light. Enter Hoodman’s HoodLoupe 3.0, which attaches over the monitor and eliminates glare and reflections. The unit fits screens up to three inches and includes a rotating eyepiece with +/- 3 diopters of correction for sharp viewing. Estimated Street Price: $79. Contact: Hoodman, (800) 818-3946, www.hoodmanusa.com.

Canon TS-E 24mm ƒ/3.5L II and TS-E 17mm ƒ/4L
Long used for architectural and landscape photography, tilt-shift lenses are finding new popularity for their unique control over the focal plane that results in depth-of-field effects similar to large-format view cameras. Compatible with all EOS cameras, Canon released two exceptional tilt-shift lenses early this year, the Canon TS-E 24mm ƒ/3.5L II and the TS-E 17mm ƒ/4L. The 24mm is an update to the popular TS-E 24mm ƒ/3.5L, adding independent adjustment of tilt and shift for exact positioning of the focal plane. The 17mm is an ultrawide, also sporting independent tilt and shift adjustment. There’s a floating internal focus mechanism, as well, for enhanced image quality throughout the focus range. Estimated Street Price: $2,199 (24mm); $2,499 (17mm). Contact: Canon, (800) OK-CANON, www.usa.canon.com.

Tamrac Ultra Pro 7
This well-constructed bag is ideal for when you want to travel light. It holds a pro D-SLR plus two to three large-aperture lenses. Designed with a slim profile, the bag has enough room for wide-angle, standard and telephoto zooms plus a flash. For enhanced security, the Total Coverage Top can be zipped closed and buckled up, and a rigid plastic platform at the bottom provides shock protection. There are plenty of pockets for holding accessories along with the Piggy-Back Pocket, which zips open to allow the bag to be slipped over the handle of rolling luggage. Estimated Street Price: $99. Contact: Tamrac, (800) 662-0717, www.tamrac.com.

Portrait Professional
If you like shooting portraits but could do without spending a lot of time retouching them, Portrait Professional 9 is a smart software program that gives you a fast way of digitally airbrushing. The app uses a database of facial profiles to automatically adjust face shape, flesh tone, skin, eyes, teeth, lighting and blemishes. A slider system allows you to subtly add or reduce changes manually. Version 9 adds ClearSkin technology for maintaining skin texture after enhancement. There’s also a new intelligent touch-up brush for skin-defect detection. It’s available as a stand-alone program or as a plug-in for Photoshop. Estimated Street Price: $99. Contact: Anthropics Technology, (971) 238-0917, www.portraitprofessional.com.

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Lensbaby 0.42x Super Wide Lens
Lensbaby is a unique device that lets you put focus and depth of field just where you want them by tilting the flexible body. Various attachments provide you with a host of creative options. The 0.42x Super Wide Angle Conversion Lens changes the unit’s 50mm focal length to 21mm, providing both standard and wide capability with a whole new range of effects. It attaches to the front of any Lensbaby via 37mm screw threads and is compatible with the Optic Swap System as well as older models. The unit focuses down to 2.75 inches for extreme close-up effects. Estimated Street Price: $80. Contact: Lensbaby, (877) 536-7222, www.lensbaby.com.

Lowepro Toploader Pro AW
With the versatile Toploader Pro AW from Lowepro, you can adjust the way you wear it to accommodate your activity or shooting style. The bag can be worn on your belt, your shoulder or tight against your chest in the most active situations with the Topload Chest Harness (sold separately). The tapered shape of the bag follows the lines of a pro D-SLR for a highly compact, yet protective fit. The unique grip cut-out design provides fast access to ensure you get the shot. There are three sizes, and all come with an All Weather AW Cover. Estimated Street Price: $54 to $69. Contact: Lowepro, (800) 800-LOWE, www.lowepro.com.

Tamron AF18-270mm F/3.5-6.3 Di II VC
With an outstanding 15:1 zoom ratio, Tamron’s 18-270mm F/3.5-6.3 Di II VC takes your APS-C-format D-SLR from true wide-angle (equivalent to 28mm on a 35mm camera) to super telephoto territory (about 419mm equivalent). The VC stands for Vibration Compensation, which means you can use all those focal lengths when shooting handheld. Because the stabilizer is in the lens, it steadies the viewfinder image as well as the recorded one. The lens will focus down to 19.3 inches at all focal lengths, further extending its versatility. It’s available for Canon and Nikon with a built-in AF motor. Estimated Street Price: $629. Contact: Tamron USA, (631) 858-8400, www.tamron.com.

Flashpoint 5-In-1 Collapsible Disc Reflector
Made up of five different material surfaces, the Flashpoint 5-in-1 Collapsible Disc Reflector provides a variety of subtle or striking ways to add or reduce light in your scenes. With one collapsible reflector, which contains translucent, white, black, silver and soft gold surfaces, you gain control over specular highlights, image warmth, shadow elimination, light diffusion, and contrast reduction and gain. There are three sizes available—a 22-inch for head-and-shoulder shots, a 32-inch for portraiture, and a 42-inch for impacting fill light in large scenes. Estimated Street Price: $19 (22-inch); $34 (32-inch); $39 (42-inch). Contact: Adorama, (800) 223-2500, www.adorama.com.

Tokina AT-X AF 11-16mm ƒ/2.8 PRO DX
This ultrawide zoom brings truly wide focal lengths to Canon and Nikon APS-C-format D-SLRs with a 35mm-equivalent focal-length range of about 17-25mm. Featuring a fast ƒ/2.8 aperture throughout its focal-length range, the lens is great for low-light, wide-angle work. An exclusive One-touch Focus Clutch mechanism makes switching between auto and manual focusing as simple as snapping the focusing ring forward (for AF) or back (for manual focusing). The lens can focus down to 11.7 inches for “wide-angle expansion” effects, and comes with a flower-designed lens hood to minimize flare. Estimated Street Price:

$599. Contact: THK Photo, (800) 421-1141, www.thkphoto.com.

Apple iPhone 3GS
While it’s not going to replace your D-SLR, Apple’s ubiquitous iPhone 3GS and the growing number of apps designed for photography make it a powerful imaging tool. The built-in and upgraded 3-megapixel camera isn’t its major selling point, but as an all-around camera solution for photographers, it’s unparalleled. Controlling your D-SLR remotely? There’s an app for that. GPS? There’s an app for that. Magic-hour times? Image editing? Wireless printing? Depth-of-field calculations? There are apps for all of those, too. The iPhone’s image-preview capabilities also make it a portable portfolio, and you can share your images via e-mail or upload them online. Estimated Street Price: $199 (16 GB); $299 (32 GB). Contact: Apple, (800) MY-APPLE, www.apple.com.

Tenba Shootout Convertible Sling Bag
Sling bags, like Tenba’s Shootout Convertible Photo Sling, are perfect when you’re out taking impromptu shots, because they allow you to grab the camera quickly without removing the pack. With plenty of room, the Shootout Convertible Medium holds one or two SLRs, three to four lenses, a flash and accessories. It’s made from weather-resistant nylon, uses weatherproof YKK zippers and has a full-access back panel for opening up and customizing the main inside compartment. You can convert it to a long-lens bag capable of holding a pro body with an attached 300mm ƒ/2.8 lens. Estimated Street Price: $99. Contact: Tenba, (914) 347-3300, www.tenba.com.

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Tiffen Dfx Version 2
With more than 2,000 possible effects, the sequel to Tiffen’s Dfx digital software suite offers even more ways of simulating the company’s popular optical filters digitally. Available as a stand-alone program or as a plug-in for Photoshop and Aperture, Dfx v2 is a fast, intuitive and fun way to shape the overall look of an image. Just a few of the many filters include Day for Night for simulating a nighttime pallor, Haze/Sky for adding dynamic skies, Sepia for adding a classic brown hue, HFX Star for adding specular effects, and a number of contrast adjustments. The graphical interface allows you to preview the changes made to an image. Estimated Street Price: $149 (stand-alone); $299 (plug-in). Contact: Tiffen, (800) 645-2522, www.tiffen.com.

B+W Warm Tone Polarizer
For more than 60 years, B+W Filters has been known for outstanding quality as well as technological innovation. It was the first filter manufacturer in the world to offer multilayer coating that repels water and dirt. Its proprietary MRC coating is exremely hard, so it protects filters from scratches. The B+W warming polarizer combines the power of a polarizer with the warming effect of an 81A or KR1.5 filter and is available in several configurations. Estimated Street Price: $160 (77mm). Contact: B+W (Schneider Optics), (800) 645-7239, www.schneideroptics.com.

Kenko Teleplus DG Series Auto Extension Tubes
Extension tubes allow a lens to focus closer than it normally can, handy for close-up work. Another bonus is that the tubes contain no glass elements, so they don’t ad-versely affect image quality. Kenko’s DG series set contains 12mm, 20mm and 36mm tubes, which can be used individually or together to produce different degrees of magnification. Assuming there’s enough light (extending the distance from the lens to the focal plane reduces the amount of light transmitted), the tubes maintain AF and TTL metering capabilities. They’re available for Canon EF and Nikon AF and AF-S lenses. Estimated Street Price: $169. Contact: THK Photo, (800) 421-1141, www.thkphoto.com.

Sunpak PRO 724M
Monopods are nice alternatives to tripods because they’re more portable, yet able to fully support your camera. The Sunpak PRO 724M features four carbon-fiber leg sections with twist locks and extends from 20.7 inches to 62.3 inches. The carbon fiber is light, absorbs vibrations and provides the strength to support up to 11 pounds—a pro D-SLR with long lens—yet the unit weighs just over a

pound. A neoprene grip offers comfortable handling in any climate, and a retractable spiked rubber foot provides a good grip on any surface. Estimated Street Price: $99. Contact: Sunpak (ToCAD), (973) 627-9600, www.sunpak.com.

ACDSee Pro 3
ACDSee Pro 3 delivers a comprehensive image-management and -editing solution for PC users. You can avoid lengthy import times with ACDSee Pro 3 by referring to files from their original sources, including hard drives, flash drives, cameras and even memory cards. There’s also support for more than 100 different popular file types, including a large selection of RAW files. With powerful custom metadata management, images can be found easily through extensive search possibilities. Output is comprehensive, as well, with Online mode for uploading and browsing images; an online preview and direct uploading to SmugMug, Zenfolio or personal websites; or through e-mail. Estimated Street Price: $169. Contact: ACD Systems, www.acdsee.com.

ScanCafe Black-and-White Scanning
Preserve the tonal range and clarity of your black-and-white negatives using ScanCafe. Each image is scanned and repaired individ-ually so photographs that are decades old don’t have spots or scratches from age and dust. Because silver-halide film is often more brittle and tends to scratch easily, ScanCafe has developed a process by which negatives are enlarged to a minimum of 1920×1080 pixels, and visible defects are removed by hand. The result is 3000 dpi images with increased tonal depth, dynamic range and sharpness. ScanCafe allows you to review scans and reject up to 50 percent of the negatives. Estimated Street Price: $0.69 per negative. Contact: ScanCafe, (866) 745-0392, www.scancafe.com.